Monday, April 15, 2013
Very sad news over the weekend...
Jonathan Winters, the wildly inventive actor and comedian who appeared in such films as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Loved One" and played Robin Williams' son on the TV show "Mork & Mindy," has died. He was 87.
Though he never had a breakout starring role, over the years his appearances on TV shows made him a beloved figure in the entertainment world. He was a favorite guest on "The Tonight Show" -- particularly in the early '60s when Jack Paar hosted it -- and turned up on the game show "The Hollywood Squares," Dean Martin's celebrity roasts and countless variety shows.
He told the Archive of American Television about the creation of his character Maude Frickert, the sarcastic old lady, who came from a relative he had. "I decided, having seen a lot of older people, that many of them are shelved -- put in retirement homes to rot," he said. "I decided to (be) a hip old lady" -- one who had a wicked sense of humor, the kind of person who was married 12 times and cracked a whip in a ward of cardiac patients.
He had a regular role on the final season of "Mork & Mindy", putting him together with Williams, who played the space visitor Mork from Ork. Winters played Mearth, Mork's son, who -- having hatched from a giant egg -- was the size of an adult but had the mind of a child.
I remember him from numerous talk show appearances and, of course, from Mork and Mindy (which I never missed). He was a very funny man...very quick-witted.
He will be missed.